This is the tragic story of Major Peter Marshall, Canada's most decorated war hero in World War II, the disintegration of his family and the devastating impact of a vicious early winter storm. One fateful weekend in November, 1963, Peter Marshall's suspicions of his wife's infidelity are confirmed in her explosive confession of a continuing affair and the revelation that he is t the father of their daughter. Also, at the annual regimental reunion, the German tank commander at the Old Quarry where Peter won his Victoria Cross unwittingly reveals that it was t Peter whose heroic action won the award but those of the redoubtable Sharkey, the Irish Soldiers' Soldier, who had been Peter's loyal friend and mentor. The former German officer's comments dispel the fog of battle that had clouded Peter's memory and he is devastated by what he had done to his dear friend. This is also the story of Peter's son Robbie who both idolizes and idealizes his father, and the beautiful and pregnant Sandy, Peter's daughter, whose insecurity makes her an easy target for the predatory and more experienced Jonathan.
Fred Allen was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and raised in Fredericton, N.B. He was educated in several Fredericton public schools but, by his own admission, just didn't make it through Grade VII when he landed a job as a bellboy in the old Barker House. There was no salary, just tips with a small guaranteed nightly income from delivering the wares of a well known bootlegger who operated from the hotel's elaborate lower level gentlemen's washroom. He also had the distinction of caring for the famous giant Coleman Frog which can now be seen in the York Sunbury Museum in Fredericton. As a term of his employment at the Barker House he was sworn to secrecy on the origin - and authenticity - of the famous frog. After six months of dusting the giant frog several times a week, he swears that the secret will go to his grave with him. Fred was saved from cleaning spittoons and dusting the Giant Frog, and possible incarceration for his dubious extracurricular liquor deliveries, when he was hired in the same capacity - as a bellboy - by the Queen Hotel, Fredericton's leading hostelry. There was still no salary but meals and a uniform were provided. Uniforms were hot stuff with the girls in the late '30s so there were certain fringe benefits. Fred was then saved from a life of answering bells by the outbreak of war and the mobilization of the 104th Battery, the militia unit he had joined at age fifteen. He spent five and a half years overseas with service in the UK and Northwest Europe. On demobilization in 1946 he was accepted as a mature student by the University of New Brunswick. He found university much more to his liking than public school and was a gold medallist and triple prize winner in his junior year. On graduation he was awarded a Beaverbrook Overseas Scholarship but was obliged to withdraw because of a prior military commitment. He served in the Royal Canadian Artillery and the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery until 1968 with service in Northwest Europe, exchange postings in the United States and service with the ICC peace keeping mission in Indo China. He also served with the 79th Field Regiment, 1st and 3rd Regiments, RCHA, and as an IG (Instructor in Gunnery) at the School of Artillery in Shilo, Manitoba. His final posting was a Resident Staff Officer serving four universities in Southwestern Ontario. At the UWO and WLU he had the designation of Associate Professor of Military Studies but the true indication of his status in the academic hierarchy was that he had a parking spot in the Red lots. On retirement from the Armed Forces in 1968 Fred joined the staff of Sir James Dunn C&VS in Sault Ste. Marie as a teacher of mathematics. He became well known to teachers throughout Ontario for his efforts to improve teachers' pensions and served for seven years as the elected representative of Ontario's Secondary School Teachers OSSTF) on the Teachers' Superannuation Commission now the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board. On his retirement he was awarded an honorary life membership by OSSTF for his service to education in Ontario. More important, the staff at his high school (SirJames Dunn C&VS) made him an honorary graduate of the high school leaving him only to find a cooperative public school principal to complete his academic record. During the 1980s and early 90s Fred planned, conducted and participated in dozens of workshops and seminars on retirement planning for teachers throughout Ontario. For eight years he was publisher of Teachers Money Matters a monthly newspaper designed to inform teachers on all matters relating to financial security. Fred has resided in Thornhill for eighteen years with his wife of fifty-three years, Nell. They have three sons and a daughter, six grand children and six great grandchildren. This is his first novel, a second The Faith of Maria has also been completed and a third The Enclave is nearing completion. There is also a fourth book ... From Among my Souvenirs in what